Thursday, November 29, 2018

November 29, 2018

December Entertainment

Part 1 - Music

It seems that December is as close as two days away. As in the day after tomorrow. Which is frightening for those of us still getting over 2017. The arrival of December portends much in the way of end of year rituals and seasonal celebrations. But for us a lot of the excitement has to do with the prospect of another month’s worth of bands and cult movies.

Our December schedule of bands has a notable kink in it. We won’t have a live band on Saturday Dec the 29th. The simple fact is that day of the week counts for nought on dates such as the 29th of December. It might as well be a Monday or a Sunday as far as the late night, central Wellington, music scene is concerned.

But New Year’s Eve is different again. To see out 2018 we’ll be having live music and not just any old live music. The Vanguards play horn-driven funk and soul and came up with a superb set here back in June for the Jazz Festival. They feature saxophonist Josh Simon, whom you may recognise from other fine musical combos such as Mozel Tov Cocktail and the Hashigo Zake bar staff. (No, conflicts of interest don’t concern us.) Josh will be flying back from a whistle-stop tour of the UK to be with us on New Year’s Eve. That’s how important this show is. We’re looking forward to it a lot.

Between now and New Year’s Eve we will feature, in reverse order:
  • December 22: Chocolate Thunder
  • December 15: The Rumble – this time playing as a Trio for 50% more proto-rockability.
  • December 8: The Oscar Laven Organ Trio
  • December 1: Carlos Navae – yes, this Saturday the Latin singer/guitarist and all-round funkster brings his polished act back to our lounge. Carlos has a long CV, but here’s a performance by him that’s about as far as you can get from what we expect on Saturday.

Part 2 - Movies

Meanwhile December brings no fewer than five Sundays for our Curator of Moving Images to source cult entertainment for. Here’s what he came up with:
And here are his spoiler-free-to-a-fault notes on the Director’s Cut of Dark City:
20th Anniversary of Alex Proyas' Noir/Sci-fi mindbender that Roger Ebert named the best film of 1998).

We're going to screen the Director's Cut of the film but the less said about this film the better because if you haven't seen either cut of this film then... well.. you are in quite the envious position.

Yay you!

Santa Session!

There are a few places left for Tuesday’s festive session. Get in quick at the Cult Beer Store or simply by buying a place at the bar.

On Tap Now

  • Renaissance Black Hole Fusion
  • South Cider Boysenberry Cider
  • Golden Bear Brut IPA
  • Deep Creek Double IPA
  • Deep Creek Lagerita
  • Deep Creek Lotus Pale Ale
  • Golden Bear Nelson Easy
  • Te Aro Rooster Red IPA
  • Sawmill American Brown Ale
  • Sawmill Old English Ale


Golden Weather Sport

There remains a third and deciding instalment in the titanic struggle that is the series of cricket tests between New Zealand and Pakistan taking place on the desert planet of Arrakis. New Zealand crushed Pakistan by no fewer than four runs in the first test, but Pakistan rebounded and snuck home by just a single innings in the second.

The decider starts on Monday at 7pm. Tell your spouse that you’re working late. Tell your work that if your spouse rings to say you’re in the bathroom. And come and join our vigil of prime-time evening cricket watching. We promise to maybe, possibly, stay open until stumps for anyone that is watching (and buying the odd drink).


Rock The Cash Bar VIII

Wellingtons favourite music quiz will be back for one final 2018 edition on December 10th, be sure to book a table over the bar, It might even be Christmas themed.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

November 22, 2018

How to Crash Nick Granville's Birthday

Nick Granville is one of Wellington’s most respected and in-demand musicians. He doesn’t do a lot of pub gigs, but often tells us that he likes playing in our lounge so much that he not only makes an exception by playing here, he entices high profile guests to come here and play alongside him.

This Saturday Nick and his band are our guests in the lounge. But it also happens to be Nick’s 40th birthday, meaning the odds of him bringing some particularly special guests are high. If truth be told though, Nick’s consummate guitar playing and improvisation skills should really be enticement enough.

The Nick Granville Trio play at 10pm on Saturday evening, with no cover charge.


It has taken quite a while, but the Cult Movie Basement seems to have developed true cult status, with a virtually full house - which isn’t actually that many people - taking in Tremors last Sunday.

(And on that note, we do take table bookings for these evenings. So feel free to reply to this email if you want to bring a group along on Sunday.)

This week it’s one of the best known works of a legendary director of action and western movies. Take it away Cult Film Basement curator, Krispin Dank:

If that’s not one of the greatest film titles in history then my name is Alfredo.

The last and most exceptional film of Peckinpah's truly extraordinary creative run of the late 60’s and early 70's that started with The Wild Bunch (1969) and was followed by The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970), Straw Dogs (1971), Junior Bonner (1972), The Getaway (1972) and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)

Notorious for his manic behaviour and legendary struggles with drugs and alcohol, Peckinpah’s most personal and human film was almost universally dismissed upon release. 40 years later and his story about an American piano player in a Mexican brothel is now considered the work of an artist at the very top of his powers.

The booze ended up killing Peckinpah in '84 at 59 years of age.

"At a film festival, after Pat Garrett had become the latest of his films to be emasculated by a studio, he was asked if he would ever make a 'pure Peckinpah' and he replied, 'I did Alfredo Garcia and I did it exactly the way I wanted to. Good or bad, like it or not, that was my film'"

Screening on Sunday night at 7pm in the lounge on the HASHIGOZCOPE screen,


Santa Session!

Tickets have been on sale for this year’s Santa Session since this time last week, and they are already half gone. Hurry along to the Cult Beer Store to secure your place to this year’s exercise in clearing our supplies of overstaying beer.

The Santa Session happens in its usual slot of the first Tuesday in December, which happens to be the 4th, at 6:30pm. The generous hand-pouring will continue until 9pm.

On Tap Now

Last week we promised fresh beer from Mapua’s Golden Bear. We didn’t mislead anyone BUT the beer took an inexplicable detour through Christchurch, so none of it made it onto our taps until just a couple of days ago. Right now their Brut IPA and Fortress Pale Ale are on. Nelson Easy Lager and Body Czech Pils are still to come.

We’ve found that when Te Aro’s Rooster Red IPA is on tap (or almost any good red IPA for that matter) it goes extremely quickly. Rooster just made it on, so now would be a very good time for lovers of decadent Red IPAs to take advantage.
  • Golden Bear Brut IPA
  • Kereru Feijoa Weisse
  • Kereru For Great Justice Porter
  • Golden Bear Fortress Pale Ale
  • Kereru Imperial Nibs
  • Deep Creek Pontoon in a Monsoon
  • Te Aro Razzle Dazzle Pilsner
  • Te Aro Rooster Red IPA
  • Kereru Velvet Boot
  • Yeastie Boys White Noise
Coming on tap soon, in the "crikey that ought to be interesting" category, is Black Hole Fusion - a barrel-aged milk stout from Renaissance. (Not to be confused with the Black Hole beers that we once had courtesy of Mikkeller.)
For those of you unaware we can now download our custom designed app from the WindowsGoogle Play and  App store

Golden Weather Sport

As predicted, last week’s first cricket test between New Zealand and Pakistan turned out to be gripping entertainment, enjoyed by a select few with the foresight to settle in front of a telly with a beer and an appreciation of the world’s most mesmerising spectator sport.

The second instalment of this series kicks off on Saturday evening, giving another opportunity to savour the magnificent sport and drink match that is cricket and beer.

Rock The Cash Bar VIII

Wellingtons favourite music quiz will be back for one final 2018 edition on December 10th, be sure to book a table over the bar, It might even be Christmas themed.

Christmas and New Year Trading

Our Christmas shutdown lasts one day – December 25th. We’re open again at noon on Boxing Day.

We won’t have a band on Saturday December 29. Instead we’ll have The Vanguards coming in to play on New Year’s Eve.

And we have no plans to join those outlets that charge you extra for wanting food or drink on a public holiday!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

November 15, 2018

Start of the Golden Weather

A whole nine years ago, shortly after Hashigo Zake first opened, we purchased a keg of a pale ale by a little known brewery based in Mapua, near Nelson, called Golden Bear. Everyone on our side of the bar thought it was quite tasty and the longer it remained on tap, the faster it seemed to sell.

We didn’t know much about Golden Bear except for whispers that their brew kit was about the nicest anywhere in the country.

One day a customer who spoke with what might be described as a Californian drawl, stayed in our bar for a while and asked quite a few questions about our operation, before finally letting on, as he left, that he was Jim Matranga of Golden Bear.

We went on to regularly buy Golden Bear beer and have got to know Jim better since then, although not always for the best reasons. We’ve publicly debated him over his practice of paying for exclusive rights to sell beer into several bars in the Nelson region. He seems oblivious to the connection between what he does and the practices of the brewing giants doing their best to eliminate competition.

That’s one of the reasons that it’s been quite a long time since we’ve served one of their beers.

One of our favourite beers made by Golden Bear was his Patriot Pale Ale. A few years after we first got to know that beer, Croucher in Rotorua started calling their Black IPA Patriot. No-one got litigious and there was never any danger of confusion. So no-one seemed particularly worried.

Enter DB, the local vassal brewery of Heineken. To the best of our knowledge neither DB nor any of their subsidiaries have ever made a beer called Patriot, but in September they applied for a trademark on Patriot as a beer name. And IPONZ have accepted their application, which probably means that it will go on to be registered unless someone ponies up $300 + GST to oppose it. We spoke to Jim at Golden Bear who says that he doesn’t happen to have made a beer called Patriot for a while, but he definitely expects to be able to revive the recipe and the name in future. And shortly after that, presumably, Jim will hear from DB’s lawyers.

Since the only thing that we hate more than a brewery that buys taps is a brewery that buys taps and trademarks other people’s beer names, this seems an opportune time to reacquaint ourselves with Golden Bear beer.

So over the next few days, look out for an injection of pale, hoppy beers from Mapua’s finest, including a hoppy pale ale called Fortress, a hoppy lager called Nelson Easy and their Czech Pils.

Best of all, their Brut IPA will be in our new release slot on Tuesday.

Dated Beer Scandal!

We’ve talked recently about the Norwegian brewery Kinn and the tasting that we held way back on Tuesday of last week. There were a couple of quite striking things about the Kinn range. The most obvious was their immunity to most of the current fashions in beer styles. That’s not to say they can’t or don’t make a mean IPA, just that the beers that we were tasting were generally traditional and/or malt and fermentation driven, rather than being hop-bombs.

The other was how well the beers have kept. One stand-out was their Brown Stout called Prestesonen. This is a sub-6% beer that the brewery held on to for three years before releasing. It’s now four years old and hasn’t turned into an oxidised/autolysed/solventy mess.

Several beers were officially past their best before dates. The fact that they were tasting so much better than we would expect for "dated" beer from a small, independent brewery probably reveals how modest our expectations are for the shelf life of beer from small breweries. (The reasons for saying this would take up a bit too much space right now.) It’s also a good example of the benefits of bottle conditioning.

It also betrays how unfortunate it is that supermarkets and regulatory bodies insist on arbitrary dates that aren't necessarily fair for the particular product, leading many retailers and consumers to turn their nose up at beer that may not have anything wrong with it.

Another good example was Kinn’s witbier called Jubileum. This is officially dated, but the beer can hold its own as a solid, or even very good, example of the witbier style, that we’re happy to offer to customers. But because of the date problem, the importer has sold it to us at a discount (that we’re naturally passing on).

All of this is a round-about way of announcing that we now have stock of a carefully chosen selection of the Kinn range:
  • Bærtur – a raspberry tripel – not something that we were particularly looking forward to, until it turned out to be delicious and the most popular beer in the tasting.
  • Jubileum – fine example of a Belgian wit.
  • Bresjnev - Imperial Stout
  • Prestesonen – Brown stout brewed in 2014. Big bready malt characters and in great condition.
These are available at the bar (and for takeaway) and are making their way onto the Cult Beer Store.

Santa Session!

It’s mid-November, which means that our traditional Christmas event – the Santa Session – is looming. For those who don’t know, the Santa Session is an opportunity for us to clear some inventory that we have too much of, or that has hung around too long, and at the same time give our regular customers a night drinking some random and often extravagant beer at a bargain price.

Once again we’re holding it on the first Tuesday of December, and once again we’re giving a discount to members of SOBA.

Looking at the candidate beers from our current inventory, this year’s event will probably be heavy on Barley Wines, which is fun and dangerous and also potentially very expensive for us. Consequently we’ll be limiting numbers slightly more than usual.

Tickets are available here.

On Tap Now

  • Deep Creek Aloha
  • Urbanaut Brixton Pale Ale - hand pump
  • Kereru For Great Justice Porter
  • Deep Creek Redwood APA
  • Hallertau Resurgence IPA
  • La Sirene Saison Tropique
  • Hallertau Stuntman IIPA
  • Hallertau Tangelo Witbier
  • Te Aro The Beast
  • Kereru Velvet Boot
For those of you unaware we can now download our custom designed app from the WindowsGoogle Play and  App store

Cult Film Basement


Earl Bassett: I vote for outer space. No way these are local boys.
This Kevin Bacon- and Fred Ward-starring 50s monster movie throwback from 1990 was one of those classic late night TV finds. And while it’s spawned SIX sequels (including one this year), a one season TV series and another recently aborted TV series, the original still remains the absolute best.

The excellently paired Misters Bacon and Ward star as two fed up repair/handymen who have decided to ditch their small Nevada town of Perfection for the big city lights only to be cut off at the pass by some very hungry and very large subterranean worm beasts.

Our heroes are joined by a surprisingly stacked cast of Whatshisfaces and Iknowhers including Michael Gross (Steven Keaton in Family Ties), Reba McEntire (Country Music Queen!) and Victor Wong (VICTOR WONG!! Big Trouble In Little China) all chewing through a wonderfully funny and sharp script .

But a monster film lives and dies by its monsters and Tremors has some beautifully designed and gloriously disgusting multi tongued beasties ready to drag out pour graboid fodder to their sandy doom

And then there’s the pole vaulting!

Earl Bassett: Hey, Rhonda you ever seen anything like this before?
Valentine McKee: Oh, sure Earl. Everyone knows about them we just didn't tell you.

Sunday 7pm. Free, just like the popcorn.



JB3 return to our lounge on Saturday, bringing soul and funk. They've been one of our most popular and reliable acts, having first played in our atmospheric underground music den more than four years ago.

They're made up of:
  • Jake Baxendale - sax
  • Daniel Hayles - organ
  • Shaun Anderson - drums
10pm Saturday. $0 Cover.

Golden Weather Sport

The world’s second most popular spectator sport becomes prime time viewing again tomorrow evening after being absent from our everyday lives for far too long. We’re talking of course about cricket, and, in particular, test cricket. The team formerly known as the New Zealand Cricket Team are in the Middle East, playing Pakistan, because it isn’t safe to play international cricket in Pakistan.

Don’t be fooled by what will probably be sparsely populated stands at these games. This is a contest that will generate huge interest in corners of the world that we barely know about.

Best of all though, play starts every evening for five days at the wonderfully convenient time of 7pm, New Zealand Summer Time.

We will probably throw it onto one of our screens each evening, depending which staff member appropriates the remote, although that could stretch to two if there’s enough interest. If none of our staff remember to put it on one evening, don’t be afraid to come up to the bar and ask.

Rock The Cash Bar VIII

Wellingtons favourite music quiz will be back for one final 2018 edition on December 10th, be sure to book a table over the bar, It might even be Christmas themed.